Saturday, 4 February 2017

The Devil May Care

Previous Session: The Devil in Disguise

Chloe the Vampire casts her mind back to the previous night. She, Maria and Darcy are sitting on the couch. Chloe is trying to frame the question to discover what Darcy knows when the girl just blurts out
-You're Vampires!
-We're not going to hurt you. We won't feed on you
-Unless you ask
Maria chimes in (helpfully), as if there's no way that's not going to happen!
Chloe reins in her friend
-We just want to be sure you won't tell anyone about us. Can we trust you?
Darcy gets up, assuring them she won't tell (but she's not exactly convincing) and then as she gets near the front door, she bolts and runs.

Chloe gets to her before Maria does, turning her around and then staring directly into her eyes.
-You're not going to tell anyone about this
But Darcy's obviously not affected and Maria steps in between them, showing Chloe how vampiric hypnotism really works.

Wayne the Werewolf and Sidney are at her place. He warns her about the vampires in class as she tends his wounds. She doesn't seem surprised by that revelation. When he kisses her she freezes though, and stops him after a short while (nicely). She writes
~It's late. I should get to bed. How about another day?
He shrugs and leaves her, as he walks back to his own apartment she enacts a ritual to bind him. Sidney wants to trust him, but she's been through a lot.

The next morning, Chloe has overslept again, and her mom rouses her by sweeping open the curtains (after telling her that she won't call her again!). Chloe protests, but dawn seems to be the worst time of the day for her now. Miranda's obviously trying very hard to connect with her daughter and she's fried up sweet potato cakes: Chloe's favourite. It tastes like dirt to her though, and she stops eating after a few mouthfuls. Aster the Chosen contents himself with fresh fruit, wishing he'd gone for oatmeal.

Their mom drives them to school with Luke, and as the younger boy bounds up the school steps ahead of them. Chloe and Aster pause at the bottom. Aster wonders how she's doing with Miranda, it doesn't seem easy at the moment.
-I just don't get her, she's acting like everything can go back to the way it was before
-I think she's still operating without real remorse, like a pure Fae
Chloe breathes. That would make sense, but it doesn't help her process the hurt. She looks at Aster's face, where his ruined and cloudy eye marrs his clean features. She raises a hand, not quite touching him
-About remorse. I never...I'm sorry about your eye. I don't think I was in a good place at the time.
Aster smiles
-Like I said. We're beyond remorse. We exact revenge and move on. I'd really like for things to be easy at home; Luke doesn't know who he's living with and that's going to cause trouble if things boil over. Why are you so unable to move on with her, when you're getting on with me ok?
-Well, I guess I understand where you were coming from. But for her, I just don't get it.
Chloe shakes her head in disbelief
-Does mom even know I'm a vampire?

Darcy is in at her locker in a haze. She's just bumping into the locker door muttering something about needing her books. Aster grabs her and is worried about her. He walks her to the nurse's office; she's not herself, she's not pestering him with questions. Walking backwards for a moment to catch Chloe's eye with a silent question, she shrugs; she's not putting two and two together yet on Darcy's condition.

Mia is snorting at the state of Darcy.
-Looks like she's had a few too many fruit loops
Chloe thinks this could be a new designer drug she's not heard of and Mia laughs
-Why am I even talking to you!
-I'm a fixer upper?

Maria, wild vampire
and Chloe's best friend
Maria walks in. Not her usual strut, she looks rough and very low key with big-ass shades covering her eyes. She tells Chloe about her werewolf problem last night, and Chloe remarks that it can't be very smart to take people into the park; werewolves like to keep their territory to themselves. Maria snidely points out that she's a lot better at this vampire stuff than Chloe is.
Suddenly she raises her shades and exclaims
-I smell it. It's here in this school!
Chloe gazes into the Abyss, looking for a clue as to the werewolf's identity and she gets a clear vision of Maria's fight with the wolf, and then finally to its transformation into Wayne in front of Sidney.

Victor the Minotaur awakens. Someone is patting his cheek and Victor lunges at the person. His arms are restrained, but his teeth snap at nothing. He gets pushes back by Lucy.
-Shh! They're all sleeping.
Victor looks around. The eight or nine bikers are all sleeping or passed out, and Charley is tied up in a chair against the opposite wall to his radiator.
-You got Charley into trouble
-She got herself into trouble
Lucy gives him a look
-You need to think about what you did.
She frees Charley and lifts her onto her shoulder as if the amazon were as light as a feather. Victor stops her
-Tell her she did good
-Of course she did! It's Charley, she kicks ass!

Victor stretches as far as he can, to deliver a kick to the nearest biker. If the behemoth of a man is not impressed by the kick, he's even more disgruntled at Victor's opening line
-Hey shithead! I'm bored. Who's in charge around here?
-I am, you little runt
-You made a bit show back in the bar, but you didn't get your hands dirty at all. Bet you can't take me on without your mates...
Victor pushes more, that wasn't nearly mean enough
-...Don't know what you did to lead these guys. I've seen them fight but not you. Any of them could be the alpha if they wanted to.

The guy lifts Victor up effortlessly and draws a large knife, cutting the ropes, but before Victor can do anything, he cuts him deep from groin to grin. Victor drops to the floor, bleeding out quickly. The biker-gang leader opens a bottle of hard liquor and drains it, chucking the glass bottle to hit the dying Victor.


Waiting for the nurse, Aster interrogates Darcy, who's looking intently at him.
-I'm fine...Your hair is blue...I was hanging out with Wayne, showing him around, but he's into I was bored and I do what I always do when I'm bored...I visit people who I think are Maria who lives alone
Eventually, Aster has to ask specifically if she visited individual people, and to every question except Maria she answers 'No'
The nurse is pretty uncooperative, unless there's something obviously and medically wrong with someone, she doesn't want to know. Darcy doesn't want to stay there so the nurse shrugs and says that this is above her pay grade. Darcy insists that she has to meet Maria for lunch so she can't go home.

In math class, Principal Washington is delving into the horrors of calculus. Chloe is in the middle of doing the first problem on the whiteboard when Aster leads Darcy into the classroom and to her chair. Chloe's not too bad, she makes a few minor errors which Washington corrects without much fanfare. The principal asks for a volunteer for the next problem, and when she calls on Darcy, the girl is completely unaware of what's going on. Aster explains the situation, and Washington gives them a suspicious look: Darcy's usually pretty good at this kind of stuff. When Wayne gets calls up, he's less than impressive, making some hideous mistakes.
After class, with Aster explaining Darcy's state in detail to Principal Washington, Darcy walks out and in her distraction bumps into Liz Macintosh.

Chloe speaks to Maria outside in the corridor.
-What the hell did you do to her? You were supposed to be good at this. What use is it if she just draws attention to us? You have to fix her, drop the hypnosis
-Leave me out of it. I don't want to fry what's left of her brain.
and Maria shuffles to her next class.

Chloe grabs Aster's eye and explains what happened the previous night. He's not happy obviously (does this count as high on his chart of aberrant supernatural behaviour?) but doesn't want Darcy to get any worse. Chloe tells him
-If you're not willing to take anything worse than a zero-risk option, then we can't help her.

A confused Charley enters the school behind Lucy. Aster is concerned (who knew being in his scooby gang would be so dangerous!) and Lucy explains
-Victor got Charley in trouble, but I fixed it!
Charley's obviously still hungover, and Aster gets her to drink a load of water (and to refill her bottle). The last thing she remembers is the barfight with the bikers. On the way past Maria, she lifts the sunglasses off her head and puts them on. Maria's a little indignant, but after taking one look/sniff tells Charley she needs them more than her
-Just give them back later, right?

Sidney, traumatised witch
 and Wayne's paramour
Wayne and Sidney exchange glances. Omar is rolling his eyes as he translates for her (painfully). Wayne finds Omar's beta routine pretty funny.
-We should hang out after school
Omar gets Sidney's response, but just 'Eww!' and he gets up as Sidney starts laughing
-Not in my job description! I'm just here for your classes!
Sidney moves over next to Wayne and kisses him gently
-I did something. I cast a spell on you
-What kind of spell?
-It binds you. So you can't hurt anyone. I'm sorry. It's very difficult for me to trust you, or anyone.

Wayne pushes up against the binding spell. He wants to get her to undo the spell and there's anger in his eyes. She runs away, and behind her, he start throws things around the corridor and then punches his locker, hurting himself in the process.
Miss Yates, their AP English teacher intervenes.
-What are you doing Wayne? This is unacceptable! Go to Principal Washington's office now. When he gets there, he sees Liz Macintosh talking to her about Darcy (they reckon it must be drugs).

Washington brings Wayne inside her office.
-Well Mr. Lawrence, what is it today?
-Miss Yates just told me to come down here...
She gives him an incredulous look
-...I punched a locker
-That would do it. Why were you so angry?
Wayne stares off to one side and says nothing
-You're already getting detention. If you don't talk, you'll be dealing with a more severe punishment.
-I had an argument with Sidney
-I see. Girl troubles. Detention today will suffice. I'll speak to Miss Yates in case anything else needs to be done. I'm also recommending you see Miss Macintosh.
She writes out a note, specifying an appointment with the school counsellor for after school


Victor wakes up. Out of the corner of his eye, he sees a small present. Wrapped in pink and green sparkly wrapping paper with a properly curled ribbon tied around it. He stuffs his guts back inside his body and pulls down his (mostly intact) shirt. One of the bikers is making coffee, but he's oblivious to Victor's movements. Victor opens the present, with a label marked 'To Caine': inside is a purple leather book, inscribed in the otherwise blank book is inscribed 'Feelings Journal'. He leaves as quietly as possible and legs it back to school.

At lunch, Chloe gives Maria her personal responsibility speech. Maria's kind of horrified when Chloe calls Aster over to join them (Darcy is with them of course!). But Maria says she'll try to reverse the hypnosis.
She stares into Darcy's eyes and tells her to ignore everything she said the night before and almost immediately the veil passes from Darcy's eyes. She scrambles back, panicked.

Aster goes after her, but she running and he doesn't catch up with her until they're outside the school. She's collapsed by the wall, a horrified look on her face. Aster calmly settles down beside her
-Hey. Take a deep breath. Be calm.
-I can't be calm!
-Tell me what's going on
-Chloe and Maria are vampires! They're going to eat me!
-They won't eat you. They're not going to eat you
-Maybe you're a vampire too!
-No. I'll keep them from eating you, I promise
-That's what you would say if you were a vampire
Aster tries a different tack
-I'm here to protect people like you from people like them
-Great job! A-fucking plus so far!
-They're why I was trying to get you to stop investigating
-People have to know!

New York's finest
Detective Mills
Aster can't convince her and she crosses the street and heads into the city. He turns to find Detective Mills staring at him from only a few metres away.
-Finally! Someone's giving me straight answers around here
Aster's unsure how to proceed, but then he draws her into a constant bargain with him.
-What do you want to know?
-Vampires huh? There's a lot of stuff to be held accountable for. If these vampires are responsible. We found Cameron's bones on your old school grounds and I need your help.
-I'll answer your questions, but you're going to owe me in the future.

So he answers her barrage of questions; about the murder cabin, his arsenal cave, where they might find Brie's head (inside the pond). The list is long, and he hopes he's giving her a warning in the subtext of his answers that she should probably not mess around in all this.

She tells him that the vampires aren't just in his school. They're all over the city. She wonders if she can arrest them and he laughs
-That's not going to help!
-Well, if you need backup in your efforts
She gives him her card and then a badge; telling Aster that he's been deputised. (I thought that sort of thing only worked on 12-year olds?)

Maria talks to Chloe about the repercussions of Darcy's freak-out.
-Maybe I'll have to go on the lam. You would find it so easy, with your connections.
Chloe reckons that nothing's going to happen. Who'll believe Darcy when she tells people they're vampires?
-Anyway, mostly I'm worried about Darcy, and if she'll be ok after this

Mia wanders by, wondering what's up with Darcy. Maria has that look of hunger on her face, and Chloe waves her back to her seat.
-Let me try again
She follows Mia into the bathroom, leaning up against the door when Mia notices her. Chloe's fangs slowly descend into place as she thinks of feeding.
-Come on. You enjoyed it the first time. You know you want to...
Mia has a look of scorn on her face
-I think that's you projecting
and she walks out. Chloe doesn't stop her or follow; she's feeling completely shut down.

Wayne sits down with his (legitimately bought) lunch alongside the nerdy kids. They make to get up and move away, but he waves them back down.
-Aren't you sick of all these people walking all over you?
Luke challenges him
-You mean like you?
-Yeah, me and everyone else
Omar considers Wayne
-I guess you could say that's just the natural order of things. You make our life hell for four years, and in twenty years or so, we turn the tables
-Maybe the others aren't interesting in hell for that long?
One of the others wonders how
-I have a way out of you being pathetic weaklings
-So, we're hiring you for protection?
-No. I want you to work for me. If they fuck with you, they'll answer to me.
Wayne is planning to turn them all into werewolves, but he can't say that here and now
-I can't explain how, but if you meet me later tonight in the park I'll show you all

He's definitely got their attention. Amanda and Omar seem the most intrigued. Sidney catches a little of the conversation and calls Omar over. They're signing quietly and Sidney's frowning at what Omar's saying to her.

She heads off to look for Aster. She explains that they have a big problem.
-Wayne is dangerous and recruiting
-It's just talk. They're not going to actually do it
-You'd better come armed and prepared


Victor tracks down Charley. She's still a bit hungover and is drinking a large coffee alone. She's surprised to see him
-I was worried about you, but then...well Aster told me about you...I don't even know how I got away. Lucy is giggling with Alice, the math geek behind them.
Victor sits down
-I don't say this a lot. I'm sorry about how shit went down last night
-Thanks. I'll process that when my head stops ringing.
-How about tomorrow, we can hang out?

Aster heads over to his arsenal to pick up a bag of werewolf-hunting weapons, including silver-reinforced manacles and chains. He sends a text to Lucy to meet him for a showdown with Wayne.

Victor interrupts Lucy and Alice (agreeing excitedly on who's the best in One Direction). He shows Lucy the book she left him
-My name's Victor. Who told you different
-Now, sure. But not always.
-I appreciate what you've done for me and the team. Just trying to figure out who's dragging my name through the mud
-You do that all by yourself sometimes
-Listen Lucy. I don't care where you got this idea from. It's Victor
As he walks away, Lucy turns back to Alice
-People get so funny about names!

After a boring and compliant detention, Wayne heads to Liz Macintosh's office for some counselling.
-So Wayne, I heard you had a hard day today. My goodness! That locker has a big dent in it. You're quite strong. You need to be mindful of that. Tell me about Sidney.
-I thought we were friends. We got into an argument, not really something we can talk about
-Let's talk about anger so. What do you do when you're angry?
-I throw things and I punch lockers
Wayne's response is somewhere in between a dull non-answer and a question
-That's not acceptable Wayne.
-Well it's better than punching somebody
-Well, we know you have a history of threatening people. Like yesterday with Luke? Think about what else you could do, maybe we could find an exercise regiment that funnels that energy.

They go through some mental routines and coping mechanisms. Anger management 101.
As Wayne's leaving, Victor is waiting for his appointment. They eye each other cautiously as they pass. Is this wariness or mutual respect?

-Victor, let me get my notes. I want us to consider how you don't feel responsible for his grievances. Let's try an exercise where you pretend you're him. I'll be you.
-I've got no idea what's going on in his head
-That you hurt him and weren't sorry?
-That's very vague. I want someone to talk to you about this, but it's complicated. I'm not the best one to bring you up to speed. My old English teacher; she fulfilled a counselling role informally with me. Maybe you could speak to her?
He gives her Emma's number and as he gets up to leave he tells her
-You have this thing where you break it to people gently that your requests aren't just requests. Don't be afraid of ordering people around.
She's taken aback by this bold approach.

Liz Macintosh is really, really fond of apple motifs
Chloe finds herself face to face with Sidney. She's surprised; she hasn't really talked to Sidney since the night the gate to Hell was opened. She feels like she's one of the main reasons Sidney is so traumatised and paranoid.
Sidney tells her what Wayne is up to, and Chloe is definitely surprised that Luke was in that group (firstly that he's a nerd, secondly that Wayne is ignoring their demarcation agreement).
-Well, I guess I have to go talk to him
-Are you crazy?
-Why, what was your plan to deal with this?
-I was going to stay the hell away from it! You're a terrible vampire if you think you can go toe-to-toe with a werewolf
-That's what people say. Anyway, I thought if Aster was going at him, he could use your witchy powers to back him up?
-I've already done a binding spell on him
-Oh wait. Like before this happened?
Sidney nods
-Oh perfect! You thought you'd try to tie down a werewolf, and now you're surprised that he's gone off the rails trying to out-alpha everyone? Gold-fucking stupid-star for you!
-He wanted me, but I wasn't sure if I could trust him with werewolf snuggles
-Listen, werewolves give the best snuggles...
Chloe's smiling despite the painful memories
-...and they're really good in the sack!
Sidney walks away, not particularly happy with where this conversation has gone. She tosses back a scrunched up note, which Chloe doesn't even bother to read before ditching in the bin.

Lucy interrupts Aster as he assembles his werewolf-defeating kit. She's really sneaky.
-Thought you might want some help. Whatcha doing?
-Capturing a werewolf
-Did Wayne do something naughty?
-He's going to turn people into werewolves
-Well, if they want to be werewolves...
-Luke definitely doesn't know what he's getting into
Packing up and on the way to the park, they have a rambling conversation about how Charley is, and how the feelings journal isn't going to get much use, and maybe the best way to find out what he's really feeling would be if Victor and Charley just talked.

Chloe goes straight home. She wants to catch Luke before he goes to the park to meet up with Wayne. She tells him that he is forbidden to go there. She's not explaining why it's a bad idea, just channelling her inner mom. He scoffs and is walking out. Chloe shouts at him
-If you go out there...My girlfriend got involved in stuff like this and it killed her! You're going to come back in a coffin!
-You've been such a bitch lately
and he turns back towards the open door, where their mom is standing.
-Luke. Go to your room right now. You are not allowed out.
Then Miranda turns to her daughter
-Chloe, can we talk?
Chloe is caught, too emotionally vulnerable from her outburst at Luke to struggle and they sit down together on the couch in the den.


Wayne meets up with the nerd brigade in the park. There are a few others in addition to Omar, Amanda and Alice. He leads them into a secluded place well away from prying eyes. They're wondering what's going on, but he assures them that he'll have to show them. They're all wary, but with their numbers and in a relatively public place, they reckon they're safe.

In the clearing, he strains to break the binding spell, and that leaves him drained.
-Listen. This will freak you out, but I'm not going to hurt you
He transforms into a wolf in front of their eyes. They're shocked, they weren't prepared for that, and they back off. Then he turns back
-The fuck! How can you do that?
He looks up at the moon shining above.
-You guys can put two and two together? My power comes when I'm a wolf mostly, but some of that strength passes over when I'm back like this.
Amanda's excited
-You're offering to turn us into werewolves? I'm in!
Omar is quiet, and obviously considering the possibilities
-This makes a lot of sense.
-I wasn't much bigger that this kid when I was bitten last year.

Omar, Sidney's interpreter
and leading class nerd
They exchange some glances, and their consensus is that they don't want to be beholden to him. He assures them that he won't be in charge of everything. They won't have to do menial chores for him, and they'll be a part of the decision-making process.
-I don't get to put you down. There are some rules; we don't hunt normal people, only predators. No going off and losing it, or taking it out on a bully just because you can.
They all seem to be on board, and he transforms back into a wolf so that he can bite each of them on their forearms.

Aster steps into the clearing as he begins the transformation, dropping his heavy gym bag and drawing his sword. Wayne steps in between him and the others.
Amanda tells Aster
-We know what we're doing
and one of the other nerds exclaims
-This is so cool!
Aster speaks to them all
-You will die if you do this!
-You're going to kill us?
-No. This process doesn't always work. And being like this isn't safe, you'll be hunted. You'll be unpaid volunteers in a dangerous war for the rest of your life

Wayne argues back
-They're already in danger. This gives them a fighting chance.
Omar joins in
-Look at what happened at your old school!
Aster's losing control of this conversation now
-One of the first people to die at that school was a werewolf! If this is what you want, you don't need me to protect you. You can fight your own battles in the future.
Lucy pokes her head around from behind Aster and points at Wayne
-and you! Stop being so grumpy, mister grumpy-pants!

Wayne turns around to the others.
-He's not wrong. It'll be dangerous. This isn't a cool hangout club. If you're not down for this, you'd better walk.
They all line up, but Alice is nervous and Wayne asks her if she's sure.
-What if this affects our families? It doesn't make any scientific sense! How does this affect our brains, and reproduction and... Maybe after I see how it goes with them, I can make a decision.

After biting each of the others, Wayne sends them all home to rest.

Miranda asks Chloe why they can't seem to get along anymore, they used to be so close.
-I remember when we had that conversation in the car on the way to Oberon's. I was so scared but I was so happy because I knew how much you loved me. But then when Aster showed up, you just pointed him at me and let him try to kill me.
-I made a mistake
-A mistake! That makes no sense!
-What would you have done to stop Oberon?
-He was just going to take over his kingdom again and that would be that!
-You didn't understand him like I did. He was power-hungry and manipulative. He wouldn't have stopped at the borders of his kingdom. I had to make sacrifices to try to stop him
Chloe slumps
-It's not like I didn't make sacrifices to stop Lilith when it came to that, but...
-I thought I'd already lost you. I was wrong, I will always love you! I will try to be better, if you'll accept that?
Chloe nods and Miranda hugs her suddenly and fiercely. Her arms are trapped by her side and then her mom pulls back a bit to ask her

Miranda, Chloe's mom
(and Luke's and Aster's).
Ex-Faery Queen Consort
-Now Chloe. Are you gay?
-That's the least of it
She tells her mom of how she fell in love with Emily, and how she was killed in the chaotic conflict surrounding Oberon's bid for freedom. Chloe thought this would be much more difficult, but supposes that she did some of the hard bit blurting out the details when yelling at Luke.
-Also, I'm a vampire
-You're what! How did that happen?
Miranda begins looking at Chloe's face, and opens her mouth to look at her canines
-Mom! Get away from me! I liked it better when you were just curious about me being gay. And that's why it's so difficult in the mornings, especially when you just open the curtains without any warning!
-OK. I guess we could try homeschooling, and then next year when you go to college, you can take night classes. We need to talk about Maria as well. I don't like the bad influence that girl is having on you

Chloe sighs, she can't have this many difficult conversation in one go, and Miranda reads that and moves on
-But I'm so glad we're talking
The next hug is less awkward, and they settle in to watch some terrible TV and make fun of the characters' terrible life choices.

Victor is texting Lucy
~Hey poopy pants ~Aster's upset ~Those bikers are looking for you
~Avengers assemble! ~Let's clear out that demon nest
~Charley hurt them first ~I'll have to think about it
~What's to think about ~They're dangerous monsters
~You are too
~I haven't killed and eaten anyone recently ~They killed me and they didn't know about my gift
~True ~I have a bag of Aster's stuff!

Aster is frustrated at his failure. He heads off to Darcy to give her the lowdown on everything. She opens the door in her PJs, frowning at him.
-You're practically the only mortal left in class
-By all means, terrify me further!
-You can help me figure out how to defend people like you
-OK superhero. We can't. There's no way to protect ourselves from them.
Gazing into the Abyss, and talking to Darcy for hours, they figure out that using Charley's strength and leadership they can muster unity amongst the remaining mortals to protect themselves, despite the usual cliques. Darcy plans her supernatural gazette!

Wayne texts Sidney that they need to talk, and they arrange to meet in Starbucks in ten minutes.
-Your spell isn't working anymore. I wasn't going to hurt you
-Sorry, I just got scared.
-It could've gotten me killed. That why I was angry. Could you do that kind of thing again?
-Sure, I just need something important of theirs
-I'll get on that
Sidney narrows her eyes
-Who do you want me to do this to?
-We'll see who needs it. There are vampires around, let's start with them
-I'd rather get involved as little as possible
-I'll only ask if it's really important
-I'm still made about what you did, but I think I can let it go

They squeeze hands under the table.
-I trust you
They go back to her place for the night.

Next Session: Devil's Advocate

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